What Color is Your Blood? | Summary and Q&A

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November 13, 2013
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What Color is Your Blood?

TL;DR

Blood in your body is always red, despite the bluish appearance in veins, due to the way light wavelengths penetrate the skin.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Why does blood appear blue in veins?

Blood appears blue in veins due to the way different light wavelengths penetrate the skin. However, blood in the body is always red, whether exposed to air or contained within veins.

Q: What gives blood its red color?

Blood gets its red color from the presence of hemoglobin, an iron-rich protein that binds to oxygen and gives blood its rusty red hue.

Q: Why do some animals have blue or green blood?

Some animals, like mollusks and marine worms, have blue or green blood due to the presence of different proteins (hemocyanin, hemerythin, and biliverdin) that interact with oxygen and change their color.

Q: Is it true that human blood is blue until it gets oxygenated?

No, it is a misconception that human blood is blue until it becomes oxygenated. Blood is always red, but appears blue in veins because of light wavelengths.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Blood is the fluid that delivers oxygen and other materials to all the cells in the body.

  • Human blood is made up of clearish liquid plasma, red and white blood cells, and platelets.

  • The color of blood depends on the organism and how it moves oxygen, with some animals having blue or green blood.

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